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July 5th, 2003

Emulator crazy

Every year or so, I get the incredible urge to play games from my old Odyssey^2 console. Or Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. And right around the time these urges to reminisce hit, I’m reminded at exactly how cool emulation software is and how great that there’s a community keeping old school gaming alive.

Yesterday I installed a handful of emulators. MAME was obviously first on the list. It’s the largest and most popular since it allows you to play old arcade games (pressing “5” simulates putting a coin in the machine, etc.). A few thousand games are available. It’s a command-line application, so I recommend getting a GUI front-end for it… I like Emu Loader. You can play games with the keyboard, but if you have a gamepad installed, it’s a lot more enjoyable.

I also installed the O2EM Odyssey^2 emulator with the O2EM Launcher GUI. It was a blast being to play Pick Axe Pete again, even if it took forever to come across the BIOS..

Lastly, I installed M.E.S.S., a computer/console emulator built on the MAME engine. After grabbing a few machine BIOSes, I was playing old Vectrex games.

Some of these applications are not exactly the most user-friendly to install. Because of legal issues, sometimes you have to go hunting for ROMs or BIOSes separate from the emulator. easyEmu is a good introductory tutorial to emulation and is worth reading if you’re pulling out your hair trying to figure out where to get games. And of course, you’re only supposed to download games that you actually own the real versions of… but, for some reason, I doubt that many people follow that rule.

Now if you’ll excuse, I have a game of Super Dodgeball to play.

Posted in Technology

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